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Caitlin Clark: Sky the limit for college basketball star

Kyle McKinnon AP
April 16, 2024

Barack Obama was among those who offered congratulatory messages to women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark, the all-time women’s career scoring leader in the NCAA. Now she has decided on her next move in the WNBA draft.

Clark shoots the ball over the outstretched hand of a rival in front of a large crowd of fans
Caitlin Clark shoots a long, long-range 3-point shot to set a women's scoring recordImage: Joseph Cress/USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

The record-breaker was vintage Caitlin Clark: a 3-point shot from such a long-distance that it's known as a "logo shot” because she is beyond even the extended mid-court logo of the arena at the University of Iowa. The shot was slightly off-balance, but swished through and sent all of those recording the moment on their mobile phones into a state of delirium.

"I don't know if you could script it any better," Clark said. "Just to do it in this fashion, I'm very grateful and thankful to be surrounded by so many people who have been my foundation in everything I've done since I was a young little girl. Y'all knew I was going to shoot the logo 3 for the record, c'mon now."

Clark smiles at fans as she is lifted on to the shoulders of other women, her teammates
Caitlin Clark is lifted by teammates after breaking the women's career scoring record Image: Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

"It was absolutely perfect," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said, "for her to go over and reach this record with a logo 3."

The record in question was to become the all-time women's career scoring leader in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) history. After a timeout to mark the moment, Clark continued her hot hand finishing with a school-record 49 points on nine 3-pointers, and with 13 assists. Iowa, the fourth-ranked team in the country, defeated rival Michigan, 106-89.

No.1 Pick

Clark's huge night in February put her at a record 3,569 points in her four-year career. Among those offering congratulations on her record on social media were former president Barack Obama and well-known former American football players Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and his brother, Eli Manning.

In April, Clark was chosen as the number one pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever. It was no surprise as the former Iowa star has become a household name among basketball fans and she is now tasked with reviving the Fever's fortunes.

Olympics on the horizon

After the much-watched NCAA ‘March Madness' tournament, Clark is now set to play her first professional game in mid-May when the league's season begins. 

It is also possible, despite her youth, she could be invited to the next Team USA pre-Olympic camp with a good chance she could display her prowess before a global audiencein Paris starting in late July. 

The 21-year old could prove an extraordinary asset to the US side, which has won seven consecutive Olympic gold medals.

Clark's 3-point success percentage, even including the logo bombs from more than 35 feet, or 10.6 meters, is over 40 percent in the season just finished, and has hovered in that range during all four years of her university career. For comparison, WNBA star Kelsey Plum, whose career scoring record Clark broke, has a career 3-point success rate of over 39 percent. NBA 3-point ace Stephen Curry owns a career success rate of over 42 percent.

Clark is the face of women's basketball, and is expected to quickly become a star in the quicker and more physical professional ranks. Whether at the Paris Games in 2024, or in 2028 and 2032, she is likely to became a known commodity internationally, if not an outright global star. 

Editing by: Mark Meadows

Kyle McKinnon x